Skip to Content

How to Cook Frozen Prawns

READY in JUST 15 MINUTES!!!  Juicy, tangy, buttery and BURSTING WITH FLAVOR! How To Cook Frozen Prawns.

How to Cook Frozen Prawns on a white plate

How to Cook Frozen Prawns

Seasoned to perfection and suiting most tastes, I think you are really going to like this recipe!

This is so easy, fast and doesn’t really even require thawing the prawns first! Simply run under cool water and you are ready to cook!

This recipe is simple and probably uses things you already have in your kitchen at home!

One of the things I like best about keeping frozen prawns and frozen shrimp in the freezer is how easy it is to whip up a fast dinner for guests!

Pairs great with Andouille sausage, Fettucini Al Fredo and many other dishes!

Why This Recipe Works…

  • This is so simple, anyone at all can do it.
  • Uses frozen prawns that store for use ANY time!
  • Make as much or as little as you like!
  • Perfect for one person or a crowd

This Is How It Is Done…


This is what frozen prawns look like. Run the prawns under cold water for 5-10 minutes from the faucet first. This will thaw the prawns.

Frozen prawns on a plate


Drain the prawns on a paper towel and pat dry. Mix together the oil and spices. Put the prawns into the oil mix and place in the fridge for 10 minutes.

how to cook frozen prawns in mixing bowl


  • Add the remaining two tablespoons of oil to a large frying pan and heat over high heat until the oil is shimmery and the pan is well heated.
  • Add the prawns all at once with the spices. Stir well and cook until prawns turns pink and the tails curl (about 5 minutes).
frying pan of frozen prawns


Turn the heat off and squeeze lemon over the top. Serve immediately.

cooked frozen prawns


What Kind Of Prawns Should I Get?

There are generally three kinds of frozen prawns…

  1. Breaded pre cooked frozen prawns – you bake these in the oven per the instructions on the package. Not for this recipe.
  2. Frozen whole precooked prawns without shells (but still have the tail).
  3. Frozen whole precooked prawns with the shells.
  4. Whole Frozen Raw prawns with shells.

For this post we will only deal with numbers 2 ,3 and 4.  You can apply any of the instructions to those.

The prawns with shells will take slightly longer to cook as will the uncooked prawns.

Do I Need to Defrost the Prawns?….

The short answer is “yes” you do, but this only takes a few minutes if you run them under cool water.

How Do I Thaw Prawns? 

For either frozen prawns with shells or without,

  1. Run the prawns under cold water from the kitchen faucet. OR
  2. Move the prawns from the freezer to the refrigerator the day before.


Can I Thaw My Prawns In The Microwave?

Actually, you CAN do this, however, you run a BIG risk of cooking the prawns and making it have a rubbery texture.  

If you want to try, then microwave on a low setting in a microwave safe dish for 20-30 secs. Remove, stir and repeat until thawed.


How Do I Know That The Prawns are Thawed Out Completely? 

You’ll know that prawns are thawed when they are soft, pliable, bendable and slightly translucent.  They will have a gray color if they are not cooked already.

Can I Cook Prawn Without Thawing It First…

YES, definitely, you can cook the prawn without thawing.

Simply follow the instructions below for how to cook prawns in boiling water.

Can I Eat Shrimp Prawns?

No.  It really isn’t a good idea to eat prawns raw. Raw prawns can contain bacteria that leads to illness.

You can refer to this information on safe cooking temps from food safety dot gov.

How To Cook Frozen Prawns With A Shell…

In order to cook frozen prawns with a shell, you will first have to thaw the prawns by following one of the two methods described above.

We recommend the cooking method noted in the recipe box below.

How to Warm or Heat Frozen Cooked Prawns…

If you JUST want to warm the prawns, say for dipping in butter…

  1. First, thaw the prawns by the method above.
  2. Then, bring 3 Cups of water to a boil over high heat in a large saucepan.
  3. Place a colander over the top of the saucepan.
  4. Put the prawns into the colander so that the steam rises up through the colander to gently heat the prawns.
  5. Use a spoon to stir the prawns often.
  6. When the prawns are warm, they are ready.

How to Cook Frozen Cooked Prawns

Frozen fully cooked prawns are already cooked so, you don’t need to cook them further.

Mostly what you need is to warm them and give them some flavor.

Follow the instructions in the recipe card below for a GREAT flavor for your prawns!

How To Cook Frozen Prawns in the Oven

  1. First, thaw the prawns as noted above.
  2. Dry the prawns with a towel (paper towels work fine).
  3. Preheat the oven to 400
  4. Toss the prawns with 2 tbs of olive oil and the spices noted below.
  5. Scatter the prawns on a baking sheet so that there is plenty of room between them.
  6. Bake for 6-8 minutes until they turn pink and are more opaque than translucent.
  7. Most people enjoy a little lemon squeezed over the top

How To Cook Frozen Prawns for Pasta

We love to combine frozen prawns with Fettuccine AlFredo, it is a real family favorite.

  • To cook frozen prawns for pasta, purchase the already cooked frozen prawns and then warm them up according to the directions noted above.
  • Place the heated prawns into the AlFredo Sauce (or whatever sauce you are using for your pasta) and serve over pasta and allow the sauce to heat on low until the shrimp are warmed completely through.

The Recipe For How To Boil Frozen Prawns

(See below for the preferred method of cooking frozen prawns)

  • 1 lb of frozen uncooked prawns in the shell of any size
  • 1 Gallon fresh water
  • 4 Tbs Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large bowl of ice water
  • 8 Tbs whole salted butter, melted
  • 8 lemon weges
  1. Thaw the prawns by putting them in a colander and running them under cold tap water until thawed (about 5-10 minutes) or by placing the bag of frozen shrimp from the freezer to the refrigerator the day before.
  2. Bring the water to a boil in a large stock pot on the stove top set on high. Add the Old Bay seasoning, carrot, onion and bay leaves and give it a stir.
  3. Turn the heat off, quickly put the shrimp in the water and have a bowl of ice water standing by.
  4. It will only take a minute or two for the prawns to turn colors from gray to pink. You’ll see that it starts to curl and one or two will float to the top. When that first one or two float, they are all done. Pour them out into the colander and then pour them all into the ice water.
  5. Gently stir the ice water so that all of the prawns cool quickly.
  6. Serve prawns with melted butter and lemon wedge.

What Can I Serve With Frozen Shrimp?

Frozen prawns will go with virtually anything! Our family particularly love it with

Can I Freeze the Leftovers?

No, you really shouldn’t do that. They turn out rubbery when you thaw them and then reheat.

How Long Will They Last

It’s best to eat all of these when they are first cooked but they will last in the fridge for 3 days if you keep them covered.

If You Enjoyed This Recipe, You Might Also Enjoy…..

How to Cook Frozen Lobster

How to Cook Canned Green Beans

Or ANY of our Appetizers!!

Watch Us Make This Dish

Here we are making Frozen Shrimp which is the same essential recipe.


Be sweet and leave me a 5 STAR COMMENT 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 below, please. It helps others to find the recipes here at Loaves and Dishes.

I LOVE to read your comments and I always answer back as soon as I can (often within minutes from my cell phone). Don’t forget to join me on social media and sign up for my newsletter so I can send you the HOT COOKING TIP of the WEEK

Close up of white plate of bright red shrimp

How to Cook Frozen Prawns

Light, Buttery, Perfect and BANGING FLAVOR is what you'll find with this recipe for how to cook frozen prawns. You'll never know that you aren't on the coast!  Easy and Ready in less than 15 minutes! 
4.86 from 7 votes
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: How to Cook Frozen Prawns
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 236kcal


  • 1 lb of frozen peeled and deveined prawns
  • 4 Tbs cooking oil – divided
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ lemon


  • Thaw the prawns by either placing in the refrigerator on the day before you plan to use OR by placing into a colander and running under cold tap water for 5-10 minutes.
  • Dry the prawns with a paper or cloth towel.
  • Mix TWO tbs of oil with garlic powder, onion powder, hot sauce, salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl and stir the prawns into the bowl. Place the bowl into the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  • Heat a large skillet over high heat, add the remaining 2 Tbs of oil. When oil surface is shimmery and the oil is hot (about 2-3 minutes) , add the entire contents of the prawns bowl and reduce the heat to medium high.
  • Stir the prawns and turn until the prawns turn pink and begin to curl (about 5 minutes). Turn off the heat and squeeze the lemon over the top of the prawns. Serve with any extra lemon.


  • It is important to thaw the prawns first before cooking. If you start with frozen prawns, the prawns will cook unevenly.
  • Add more hot sauce or less hot sauce depending on your tastes. The amount listed will not add much heat, it is for flavor.
  • Be careful not to overcook the prawns as they do cook quickly. As soon as they turn pink, they are done.
  • Make a fun change and use lime instead of lemon!
  • If you are cooking the large size prawns, the cook time will be longer. If you are cooking small prawns, the cook time will be less.
  • Once you have thawed your prawns, they need to be cooked immediately.
PRO TIP:  You’ll know the prawns are done when they turn a beautiful pink/red color and begin to curl slightly! 


Nutrition Facts
How to Cook Frozen Prawns
Amount Per Serving
Calories 236 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 11g55%
Cholesterol 285mg95%
Sodium 1203mg50%
Potassium 109mg3%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Protein 23g46%
Vitamin C 12.7mg15%
Calcium 168mg17%
Iron 2.5mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!

***If you have been hanging around Loaves and Dishes for a while, you might know that I am allergic to seafood. My family was a GREAT help in making this recipe appear here. Thank goodness they all love seafood and are willing guinea pigs. ***

A Verse To Share..

When you are thankful…

Colossians 1:12

and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

Wendi is the writer, CEO and dishwasher at Loaves and Dishes! When not in the kitchen or behind the computer, you can find Wendi serving on International Food Conference Boards, Speaking at various conferences, Leading and Cooking for the local Arts Council's "Taste of Stokes" events or donating home cooked goodies to various local non profits such as the Danbury Songwriters and Stokes Partnership for Children. Wendi is also a Registered Nurse with a Master's Degree and serves on her town's board of councilmen.

Recipe Rating


Friday 11th of August 2023

ratings test


Want My 9 Secrets to Immediate Kitchen Confidence?